Monday, November 13, 2006

Tata Ace - Marketing Success?


Tata Ace is one product which I have been eager to talk about for along time. First look at the vehicle will not show anything special about it. It will look like any of the umpteen ubiquitous small transport vehicles which ply around the roads in the country. The only thing different is apparently the fourth wheel which is added to it. Though it looks very commonplace, but it has had phenomenal success in the market place.

To start with a brief about the product, the company Tata Motors calls it the India's first mini truck. The 0.75 tone Mini Truck from Tata is powered by a small and efficient 16bhp 700 cc IDI diesel engine. It is priced between 2.2 Lakhs to 2.35 Lakhs. It is suitable for both rural and urban use. The company has a dedicated website where more information can be got, http://ace.tatamotors.com .

The impact of the launch can be seen from the dip in the sales of the cargo three-wheeler maker, a 9% drop for the six month period April-Jan 2006 in favor of Ace, whose sales grew by 117% .The company has doubled the manufacturing capacity of Ace seeing the market response. It has achieved all this without a pan country presence.

The question which is worth raising is that why could Tata Motors see an opportunity in developing a four-wheel version of the Mini Truck and none of the dominant players could see the opportunity. Is it that market leader become complacent with their existing success and they cannot see beyond their existing products. This would actually be a level lower than even Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia". Now all major players are planning to come up with a four-wheel mini truck and enter the segment in response to the success of Ace.

1 comments:

Akshay Baranwal said...


Tata Ace is one product which I have been eager to talk about for along time. First look at the vehicle will not show anything special about it. It will look like any of the umpteen ubiquitous small transport vehicles which ply around the roads in the country. The only thing different is apparently the fourth wheel which is added to it. Though it looks very commonplace, but it has had phenomenal success in the market place.

To start with a brief about the product, the company Tata Motors calls it the India's first mini truck. The 0.75 tone Mini Truck from Tata is powered by a small and efficient 16bhp 700 cc IDI diesel engine. It is priced between 2.2 Lakhs to 2.35 Lakhs. It is suitable for both rural and urban use. The company has a dedicated website where more information can be got, http://ace.tatamotors.com .

The impact of the launch can be seen from the dip in the sales of the cargo three-wheeler maker, a 9% drop for the six month period April-Jan 2006 in favor of Ace, whose sales grew by 117% .The company has doubled the manufacturing capacity of Ace seeing the market response. It has achieved all this without a pan country presence.

The question which is worth raising is that why could Tata Motors see an opportunity in developing a four-wheel version of the Mini Truck and none of the dominant players could see the opportunity. Is it that market leader become complacent with their existing success and they cannot see beyond their existing products. This would actually be a level lower than even Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia". Now all major players are planning to come up with a four-wheel mini truck and enter the segment in response to the success of Ace.

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